U students detain would-be burglar

Two students’ mopeds were also stolen.

Branden Largent


A group of University of Minnesota students detained a man who broke into their Dinkytown apartment early Sunday.

Conor Murphy, a business and marketing education major, received a call from a roommate at 2 a.m. telling him it sounded like someone was in Murphy’s room, even though the door was locked, and the window was closed.

Murphy, who was at a friend’s house in the Southeast Como neighborhood, asked the roommate to go outside and around the building into the alley to look through his window and check who was in his room.

Once his roommates walked into the alleyway, they found a barefoot man standing outside of Murphy’s window, Murphy said.

Murphy later found his room “completely trashed,” with clothes scattered everywhere. But he said none of his valuables were damaged or stolen.

Murphy’s roommates took the man back inside and kept him there until Murphy got back home.

When Murphy arrived back to the apartment, the man was sitting on their couch and was “pretty cooperative for the most part.” Murphy said his roommate was able to calm the man down.

He said the man could barely talk, slurred most of his words and “acted the way a drunk person would.”

After detaining him for a half hour and mulling over their options, Murphy and his roommates decided to call the police, who arrived 10 minutes later and arrested the man.

Minneapolis police booked the man at Hennepin County Jail for burglary of a dwelling, according to the police report.

Police don’t encourage people to try to detaining somebody, because “anytime you confront somebody, it can be dangerous,” Minneapolis police crime prevention specialist Nick Juarez said.

“You don’t know if he has a weapon. You don’t know what state of mind he’s in. You don’t know if he’s under the influence of any chemicals.”

Juarez recommends that students immediately call 911 and try to give the best description possible if their house is being burglarized so police can try to find them at the scene.

Two U students’ mopeds stolen last week

A University student was reporting a moped theft to the University police when he found out the same thing happened to a friend.

Tyler Lowenstein said he noticed his moped was missing last Wednesday morning after parking on the street in front of Sanford Hall the night before. He noticed that his friend’s moped, usually parked next to his, was also missing.

Lowenstein said he originally thought his moped had been towed. After realizing it wasn’t at the impound lot, he filed a police report for a motor vehicle theft at the University police station.

But while Lowenstein spoke to the officer about the incident, the officer received a call from Lowenstein’s friend, Jack Hamburg, reporting the theft of his moped.

Although University police see bicycle and automobile thefts more often than moped thefts, those thefts go up during the warmer seasons, University police Deputy Chief Chuck Miner said.

In some cases, thieves will load mopeds into the back of a pickup truck or hotwire them and drive away, Miner said.

University police recommend students with mopeds lock one of their tires with a U-lock to deter thieves.